Chris Evans has some thoughtful commentary about the latest round of "storage guarantees" that are popping up in our industry.
We at EMC are always asked if we're going to do something like that.
The answer is "yes" and "no".
Where We Agree
We certainly agree that the current technology is far more efficient, performs well, etc. that the array-based products from just a few years ago. Factor in things like enterprise flash and FAST, and it's a night-and-day comparison.
It's not just one technology -- it's a bunch of them, used together to seriously lower effective storage costs. So, in one sense, we agree that with current technology, great things are now possible.
We also agree that vendors should be held accountable to make good on their promises. If a vendor is promising an outcome of "X", they should do whatever it takes to deliver on that promise.
And then our perspectives start to diverge with others in the industry ... :-)
Consider The Doctor
The doctor is a trained professional with a vast array of technologies and methodologies at their disposal. They treat every patient as an individual. They ask questions, they run tests, they recommend courses of treatment.
Some of these courses of treatment involve behavior change and direct participation by the patient. If you want to lose weight, for example, there's going to be some patient engagement.
Reputable doctors are held responsible for their outcomes, but do not offer "guarantees", they don't even want to comment on probabilities until they meet the patient.
They realize that there are different approaches to various conditions and desired outcomes. Really good doctors prefer to treat the root cause, rather than just the symptoms if possible.
They share the options with the patient, and mutually decide on the right course of action.
They do not brag about how many patients they've served (e.g. 1,000,000 served!)-- simply because that's not really relevant if you're in need of a doctor.
What you want them to care about is the quality of individual outcomes.
Consider The Used Car Salesperson
Here, the motivations are quite different.
How many times have you heard "We Refuse To Be Undersold!" or "Satisfaction Guaranteed!", "Thousands Sold!" and -- more recently -- the "Easy Credit!" pitch.
It's hard to see these people seriously concerned about the overall satisfaction and positive outcome for their customers.
After all, it's a volume business, isn't it?
Get someone to take something and drive it home. We'll figure out the details later.
Lots of hoopla. Lots of excitement. Get those emotions going, a sale will be easier!
But when you look on the car lot, you'll see the same, tired old cars you see everywhere. Nothing really new or interesting to go look at. And, if you've seen one used car lot, you've pretty much seen them all.
What Do We Aspire To Be?
Now, in all fairness, we live in a world where there's clear roles for both doctors and used car salesmen. They fill a clear need -- otherwise, we wouldn't have them!
But -- as technologists and vendors -- what should we aspire to be with our clients and customers?
I know which road EMC is trying to go down ...